So to anyone who has played Windwalker for as long as I have, you know that it hasn’t always been easy being teal. There have been many changes, and many times that we’ve felt like the forgotten class, or even that Blizzard somehow had it out for Windwalkers. I’ll try to cover a lot of my thoughts, with the hope that maybe someone from Blizzard will read this and take note. Going to break it up into a few posts to keep them easier to read. We’ll start with things that are (for the most part) in the past.
Anyone who knows the history of Windwalkers, knows that we’ve had many iterations of our mastery. For a variety of reasons they’ve reworked our mastery several times.
- 5.0: Sept 25, 2012 – Mists is released and Monks are created. Windwalker Mastery increases the chance that you will receive a proc for a free Blackout Kick or Tiger Palm. This is still around, in the form of Combo Breaker. No one stacked Mastery.
- 5.2: March 5, 2013 – Throne of Thunder opens. Windwalkers gain Storm, Earth, and Fire and our mastery is changed to increasing the damage per stack of Tigereye Brew (click and scroll down to 5.2 if you want to see). It was largely changed because the previous one was basically a passive and scaled very very poorly. Mastery was the best stat, but all stats were balanced once you got Rune, so the power of any one stat didn’t really matter much. You wanted Mastery to be 1 higher than any other stat to benefit from the Rune proc.
- 5.4: Sept 10, 2013 – Siege of Orgrimmar opens. Windwalkers, and see our mastery changed again and it was entirely the fault of the scaling nightmare that was Rune, the (not too arguably) most OP trinket in the history of WoW. It was changed from, instead of increasing the damage provided by each stack of Tigereye Brew, it was changed to provide a chance to generate an additional stack of Tigereye Brew any time you generate one. This dropped Mastery off the radar for Windwalkers, a place it would stay for YEARS!
- 6.0: Nov 13, 2014 – Warlords is released, Mastery remains the same, and remains worthless avoid at nearly all costs.
- 7.0: Aug 30, 2016 – Legion is released and our mastery is changed to its current state; Mastery: Combo Strikes, and Mastery jumps to the top of the need list for Windwalkers.
For anyone keeping score, that’s 4 times in less than 4 years. Add to that the plethora of other stat changes like the addition and subtraction of Mulitstrike and other changes, and Windwalker has seen more stat changes than most, if not all specs, in that time. This wouldn’t be so bad right? Well, the problem is that its Mastery.
Since its inception, Mastery was supposed to be the key stat, the stat that sets one spec apart from another. It added some spec flair and flavor, and a power increase that seemed appropriate for that spec. Because Windwalker had seen its Mastery changed 4 times in 4 years, it’s partially seen its identity change 4 times in 4 years. It changed from a Combo Breaker proc tracker, to a massively overpowered, stat balancing, wait for Rune then BAM! proc dependent spec, to a “wtf does our mastery even do”, and finally to the “don’t press the same button twice” iteration we see today.
Because of all these changes its been difficult to really pin down the feel of the spec over its time as it has felt very different with each mastery change. Its also seen some pretty drastic changes in stat weights. Although Windwalker has only seen its mastery changed once since Warlords was released 2.5 years ago, 3 changes in 1.5 years made it feel like Blizzard didn’t really have any idea what they wanted for Windwalkers even from the beginning. I’ll touch more on this in a later post.
Next time I’ll be talking about The Incident!